Authors: Jolene Perry
Tags: #dating, #rape, #sex, #young adult, #las vegas, #teen pregnancy, #adolescence, #contemporary romance, #virginity, #night sky, #jolene perry
“What’cha spacing out on?” Matt asks, while
taking a seat across from me. Matt looks like the stereotypical
football jock. He’s my height, but probably twice as broad.
“You swimming after school today?” he
“Like every day.” I nod.
“I saw you and Kaylee talking the other
day.” He shifts in his seat a few times and clasps his hands in
front of him.
I think back.
Oh, right…Monday morning’s meeting.
“Are you two…” he trails off. Hoping I’ll
finish his thought because somehow it’s too embarrassing for him to
actually say the words? Is that it?
“Just ask, Matt. And no…we’re not.” I wonder
if there’s anything else.
“Do you think she’d go out with me?” He
scratches the side of his head and his eyes dart from me to
something behind me.
I turn around to see the back of Kaylee’s
head. “You’d have to ask Kaylee.”
“Could you put out a few feelers for me?”
His eyebrows are bushy, and for whatever reason, they’re driving me
nuts just looking at them. “You’re like, one of those good,
sensitive guys, right?”
Has high school always
been this juvenile?
“Matt, you think I
know what girls like?”
?” He chuckles resting his arms
on the table between us.
“I spent last Friday night
in my pool with a college girl who was wearing nothing but a tank
top and panties.”
Shit, that shouldn’t
have come out.
“Holy shit, man!” He raises his hand for a
high-five over the table.
I shake my head. “Matt, go talk to Kaylee.
Tell her you like her, or that you think she’s pretty, and then see
if she wants to go to a movie with you or something.”
“No way.” He shakes his head.
“Then I’m not putting out any feelers for
you because if you don’t like her enough to ask, you don’t like her
enough to go out with her.” I choke on my words at the end. My gaze
shifts to Sarah. How could it not after saying something like that?
For three years…was she not important enough? Eric gives her a
squeeze, and her big blue eyes look up at him. Will this become
normal—her underneath his arm? Will it ever stop hurting? I know
I’ll need to apologize to Sky for saying something about her
wearing her panties in my pool. I also know I’m about to go crazy
with two girls floating around in my head.
“Dude, Jameson. Who pissed in your Cocoa
Puffs this morning?” He stands up, chuckling.
“Sorry.” I scrape the bottom of the small
cup of peanut butter with my finger. It’s the only protein I’ll
have today and I’m gonna need the energy for the amount of laps
I’ll need to do to get my head on straight.
Dad’s hunched over, resting an arm on the
kitchen counter, when I come in the front door. He’s standing over
the stove and a pot of boiling water. He’s in his
recovering-from-work clothes—sweatpants that need to be thrown away
and an old t-shirt from a trip to Mexico. His short curly hair is
stuck up on one side and my guess is that he just rolled out of
“You swim today?” he asks.
“I swim every day.” I slide my pack down and
set it next to the kitchen table.
“Almost.” He drops the contents of a mac and
cheese box into the water.
.” I’m still
He seems more tired than
normal. This does
bode well. As of this morning Mom was still slamming
cupboards and Dad looks so…distracted.
“Your mom said there was something you
wanted to ask me?” Dad’s half-Mexican, and he grew up in a Mexican
household. His accent is still there, even though it’s subtle. I
only know a few phrases in Spanish. Enough to find a bathroom, a
bus, order a few meals, as well as some phrases that would put me
on the receiving end of a smack from my mother—if she knew
“Nah, I’m taking a girl out
on Friday and I was going to ask for the Porsche, but I think that
would set the bar a bit too high.” I chuckle.
“Sarah?” His eyebrow goes up.
It’s kind of a shock that
he doesn’t know about Sarah and I. Has it been that long since I’ve
Instead of going into the whole
story, I say, “No, someone else.”
“Oh.” Dad stirs his pot of mac and cheese.
“Is that a good thing?”
What a loaded
But then I think of Sky, our
brutal honesty, and her long legs. “It’s a good thing.”
Dad shakes his head. “Watch it. I recognize
that look.” He points at me and his face relaxes into the smile I’m
used to seeing from him.
“What look is that?” And as soon as I say
it, I realize I should have kept my mouth shut.
“The look that tells me I
need to remind you to use a condom, every time, no matter what.”
He’s pointing at me with a wooden spoon as he stands over his pot
on the stove.
All he’s missing is an
apron. I hope I don’t laugh.
“Thanks, Dad.” I’m trying
hard not to let my embarrassment show. He’s guessing that I’ve
never done it before. Mom knows I haven’t, but for some reason I’m
afraid to admit that to Dad. And Friday doesn’t feel like our first
date. Our first date was when she was wearing her black panties in
. I really, really need to stop
thinking about that because it’s bound to come out of my mouth
again at another inopportune time.
He laughs. “Can never be too careful.”
And even though I shouldn’t, I ask, “Where’s
He turns toward the sink. “At work.”
“It’s not that unusual for your mom to work
on Thursday night.” He sighs, his shoulders slump, and he turns
back to the stove. His smile is gone.
There’s something I’m not
being told, but I don’t want to know what it is because I don’t
need anything else to think about right now. There’s too much in my
head already. The problem is I know how Dad begged Mom to change
her work schedule so they’d be home at the same time. So far this
week, they’ve had opposite schedules. And the last time they were
in the same room, I heard them arguing.
The whole thing sucks.
And I need to get out of this room before I can’t
breathe anymore. Crap, I’m hungry.
another small peanut butter package and a box of crackers to take
to my room.
“If you decide you want the car, you’re
welcome to it.”
Right now I need to get my homework done and
make sure I have enough planned for my date tomorrow night. I
really don’t want to let Sky down. And I’d rather think about
that—than anything else.
At ten minutes to six, I’m standing in her
driveway wearing my most expensive jeans, a button-up shirt with
the sleeves rolled up, and tennis shoes. I’m early, but I don’t
care. I step up to the door and knock.
She opens it two seconds later, making me
hope she’s just as anxious to begin our night together. She
seriously takes my breath away. Her hair is down, long and straight
like always, but it looks like liquid, like something I want to run
my fingers through and bury my face in. Her eyes are glowing and
her top is almost non-existent. She’s in another tiny skirt and
shoes that are almost the same as mine. Her necklace is thick with
tiny beads in intricate patterns, covering most of her
All I can say is…“Wow.”
“Thanks.” Her smile fills her face.
“Thank you,” she says, while stepping
I reach out and touch her
necklace. It’s broad and has a white background with black designs
and red along the edges. Normally, I don’t notice stuff like girl’s
“This is incredible.”
“It’s from my mom, and you’re using it as an
excuse to touch me.” She smirks.
“Maybe,” I agree. “You look…I mean, you’ve
pretty much answered one of my two questions.” I’m going to have to
find a way not to stare at her all night. I’m just not exactly sure
“What two questions?” She grabs a bag from
the floor by the door and follows me outside.
“We’re still doing the honesty thing,
right?” I can’t believe how normal and relaxed I sound standing
next to someone like her.
“Always.” Her eyes meet mine.
“Okay, first I need to
I want to get this out of the
“I told a guy at my school that I had a
college girl in her panties in my pool on Friday night,” I say as
we walk up her grandparents’ driveway.
“You did have a college girl in her panties
in your pool.” She’s getting a kick out of me. It’s all over her
face. Her smile, her eyes…
“Well, he was insinuating
that I knew nothing about girls while at the same time trying to
get me to ask a girl out for him, or…”
What am I trying to say?
“So…you’re apologizing to me…for lying to
“Did I lie to him?”
“You made it sound like you know things
about girls.” She bumps my arm with hers.
“Oh, thanks.” I take a dramatic breath. “No
added pressure for tonight or anything. It’s cool.”
She laughs. “And what’s the second
“Well, I was offered the Porsche, but I was
worried it would set the bar too high. But now, looking at you and
all your hotness…”
“I think the Golf is cute, I really do. But
did you even have to even ask?” Her eyes narrow and her dimples
“Porsche, it is.”
“You look good, too. But you’re one of those
guys who will always look better with his shirt off.” It comes out
of her mouth nice and smooth. Like she just said something about my
But it stops me in my tracks.
She looks over her shoulder at me. “Come on.
Since you didn’t pick me up in a car, we need to find one.”
Yeah, there’s no way I’m keeping up with her
“We could just walk from hotel to hotel all
night, huh?” Her hand is laced through mine.
“So.” Her smile is wide. “You’ve already
showed me ‘real’ French fries as well as the most delicious steak
I’ve ever had in my life. What’s next?”
“You’ll see.” I squeeze her hand.
“Where are we going?” I love hearing the
excitement in her voice.
“You’ll see,” I say again. It feels good, to
be with her like this. Like friends, but better. There’s tension
and possibility under the surface. Also, she’s seems to be forever
in control and tonight, she’s relinquished some of it to me. I
really don’t want to let her down.
“The Mirage?” she asks, as we get close.
“Yeah, it’s been here a
while.” I take a deep breath.
We step into the lobby. I’ve been here a
hundred times before…no, definitely more than a hundred. Mom used
to work here. She still knows the guy who keeps the dolphins. If
our timing is right, he should be waiting for us.
“Wow, look at all the fish!” Sky stops at
one of the tons of aquariums in the lobby. “Pretty amazing,
“Yeah.” I step close behind her and breathe
in. I like them, even though I’ve seen them way too many times to
count. I’d rather watch the beautiful girl in front of me.
We walk past the check-in counter and toward
the back door.
“Oh, Jay! There’re dolphins here!” She stops
to read one of the signs.
“Cool.” I take another few
deep breaths to relax.
Don’t ruin the
“We missed it.” She frowns. “They close at
“Maybe next time.” I shrug. But now, I can’t
wait to see her reaction.
“Yeah,” she says, trying to hide her
I lead her through the back door to see Mike
waiting by the side of the dolphin tank.
“Where are we?” She looks around. It’s dark
back here, only a few security lights are on.
“I have a friend here. Well, actually a few
A smile starts to spread
across her face.
She’s smart. She
“Hey Jameson!” Mike stands up. “Long time,
“Yeah,” I say, shaking his outstretched
hand. “This is Sky. Sky, this is Mike.”
“The guy who’s going to show us the
dolphins?” Her voice is full of excitement, just like I hoped.
“That’s me,” he says, with a nod. Mike is in
his fifties. He’s short, and kind of looks like a human version of
a dolphin—pale with short, grey hair and a nose that’s a tad too
big for his face.
He points at Sky’s necklace. “Tlingit?”
“Yeah.” Her eyes widen. “How did you
“Did a cruise to Alaska with the wife a few
years back.” He turns to open the gate that leads behind the
I look toward Sky again.
There’s a lot about her I don’t know
“Wow.” She squeezes my hand and looks up at
me in a way that makes me lose my train of thought. I want nothing
more than to press our lips together. I lean in close, but I’m
determined to wait until she either kisses me herself or asks me to
kiss her. I want the opportunity to be pure perfection.
“Give me a sec to open things up, you can
follow me on back.” Mike sticks his key in the first door that gets
us close to the pool and into the small house-like structure where
they feed the dolphins.